Saturday, May 7, 2011

How to Take Charge of Your Blood Pressure

Keeping a check on your blood pressure can save your life.

Women are developing more cases of hypertension these days.  Stress, diet, and our own heredity has a lot to do with the problem.  However, there are some unexpected ways to control your blood pressure.  Whether you currently take medication or not,  you can help yourself even further. 

Lower Sodium Intake or Turn to Spices and Herbs to Season

Try cutting back on sodium when possible.  Reduce or cut out the salt in some of your recipes.  Experiment with substituting different herbs and spices when cooking instead.  Herbal salt-free blends like the one I posted a while is back help bring out the flavor of foods.  I will share other delicious blends tomorrow!

The recommended allowance for salt for each of us is one teaspoon a day.  And yet, we are addicted to salt.  I know I consume way too much.  Gradually, I am weaning myself away, working with herbs and spices in my recipes, and learning to read food labels more carefully also.  Taking precautions now can only be beneficial in the future for any of us.

Make Sure to Get Enough Magnesium and Potassium 

Something you may not realize is the importance of magnesium and potassium in your diet.  In one study, the recommended amount of magnesium is between 350-400 mg and 4,700 mg of potassium.  In simple terms, you need to eat about 2-1/2 cups of fruits and vegetables a day with those two minerals.  The best sources are soybeans, spinach, potatoes, kidney beans, and bananas.

Avoid Cured or Luncheon Meats and Other Foods That Contain Tyramine

Other foods you try to limit are any aged cheeses, fermented, pickled or cured foods like sausages, bacon and luncheon meats.  Besides the sodium, these particular foods contain tyramine, an amino acid-based compound that can increase blood pressure when on certain medications.

Taking a nap can also be help.  The best way is to stick to a time for your nap break and fit it into your day, if you can squeeze this routine into your schedule.   

One last thing to try is taking up yoga and meditation.  These are proven to calm and help lower your blood pressure.  If those are not for you, try to set ten minutes aside in your day to stretch,  close your eyes, and clear your mind while you breathe deeply even can help.